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tv   Newsline  LINKTV  April 20, 2015 5:00am-5:31am PDT

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an. here are some of the stories we're following this hour. ministers from asian and african countries have gathered in jakarta to talk about economic ties. health officials in tokyo are notifying prevent another outbreak of dengy fever. professional players take on
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computer challengers in japanese chess game known as shogi. >> ministers from asia and africa are gathering together to discuss how to stengthens ties. the asian-african summit marks the 60th anniversary of the historic meeting called the bandung conference. the participants includes the vice minister of foreign affairs. and his counter parts are looking to promote closer ties between asia and africa. they are helping to set the tone for a meeting that begin wednesday between the leaders of more than 80 countries. those attending will include japan's prime minister shinzo abe. the leaders are expected to adopt a statement calling for economic cooperation including increased trade and investment. they are also likely to call for
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closer coordination on issues ranging from terrorism to poverty and economic disparities. the bandung conference in 1955 brought together leaders of independent asian and african countries. they showed their opposition to before china's president visits indonesia he'll ink deals on energy and infrastructure projects in pakistan. his trip is expected to focus on the african corridor. the planned network of roads, railways and energy projects will link china's far western autonomous regions with the arabian sea coast. pakistan is among the 57 founding members of the china investment bank. the european union foreign members are set to hold talks on a growing humanitarian crisis. a boat carrying hundreds of
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people capsized over the weekend off of italy's coast. it was the latest in deadly ship wrecks of migrants fleeing by sea. the u.n. high commissioner for people may have been killed. passengers were from the middle east and africa and headed for europe. human traffickers are to blame. >> translator: right now there's a plague in the history of our continent and the mediterranean that's being carried out by human traffickers. it's 21st century slavery. >> civil war and humanitarian crises in syria, libya and africa are prompting more and more people to flee. traffickers lure them with promises of a better life abroad. more than 1600 migrants are estimated to have died so far this year trying to reach europe.
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engineers at the fukushima daiichi are learning more what caused one of their robotic cameras to get stuck. they cents it inside the nuclear power plan earlier this month to get a better look and a photo shows what went wrong ten meters into the machine's journey. a photo released shows the robot tilting to the right inside the containment vessel. officials say they have given up on recovering the device. crews sent a second robot to retrieve the first machine but the probe's camera malfunctioned due to radiation exposure. they decided to abandon both of them. officials say video footage retrieved shows no major damage to a part leading to the bottom of the containment vessel. melted nuclear fuel fell on the vessel in the 2011 accident. the operator says it will analyze the footage and other
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data to help remove the fuel. the speaker of japan's lower house is stepping down because of health reasons. the lower house is expected to approve the move on tuesday. liberal democratic party heavy weight submitted his resignation on monday. he was hospitalized last week after falling ill. the 70-year-old has since been absent from lower house plenary sessions. >> translator: i decided that my condition should not affect my duty as the house speaker, considering the heavy responsibility of the post. >> nobutaka machimura is a information chief cabinet secretary and foreign minister. he became lower house speaker in december last year. the ldp plans to recommend former party vice president as nobutaka machimura's successor. last summer japan
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experienced its first outbraeng of dengy fever. health officials are taking steps to make sure the disease doesn't spread again. >> reporter: officials with the tokyo health department are fighting dengy fever before mosquitos set in. they are also trying to catch insects to see if they are carrying the virus. last year about 160 cases of dengy were confirmed by round the country, most of them were tracked to this park in central tokyo. this mark is one of the most popular getaways. with the arrival of spring and warming temperatures more and
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more people are expected to flock to fax. >> i did not know about that. it's alarming. >> the government needs to do something about that. it would be very nice. >> reporter: the discovery of the virus forced a closure of the park for nearly two nths. the infections were limited to people who had visited to the park. but soon the virus was found in others who had not been here. dengy fever is spread by mosquitos and not from person to person. symptoms include severe joint ache headaches and fever. officials say they will continue their measures against dengy twice a month. >> translator: mosquito season begins in july at the end of the rainy season. we would like everyone to take preventative measures and get rid of stagnant pools of water whenever possible. >> until recently outbreaks of dengy fever have been limited to
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tropical countries but with global warming and the growth in international travel the number of cases around the world is expected to continue growing. and we'll probably see a spike in sales for mosquito repellent. the drop in japanese consumer purchases following last year's tax hike is showing up in steel production. gene otani is here with more. >> steel is used in a lot of items for cars car bodies as well as steel frame construction for buildings. japan's crude steel output fell last year for the first time since 2011 when production was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. industry officials are blaming last year's consumption tax hike. officials at the japan iron and steel federation say domestic output for fiscal 2014 ending march totalled nearly 110 million tons down 1.5% from the
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previous year. officials cite a drop in demand for automobiles and buildings after the consumption tax hike in april. they say steel output is to remain low until sum engineer. japan's domestic shipments of electrical home appliances dropped. shipments came to around $18 billion. that's down 12%. that's mainly due to an increase in consumption tax. unseasonable weather last summer toledo a drop in sales of air conditioners and refrigerators. shipments fell by 17.a% for refrigerators, 15.4% for air conditioners and 12% for washing machines. officials at the association
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expect sales to pick up. toshiba has been testing a hydro event fuel cell system for use in emergencies. the electronics maker unveiled the technology at a park near tokyo. solar panels generate energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. hydrogen is stored in tanks and converted to electricity. toshiba says the system needs just water and the sun and generates enough electricity and hot water to sustain 300 people for one week. >> translator: i hope this will be one relief measure for a country that often faces natural disasters. >> one tests complete toshiba plans to sell the technology to
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local governments. >> checking the markets tokyo stocks headed slightly lower after a choppy session. the yen rose against the u.s. dollar and weighed on sentiment. the nikkei average briefly touched it's lowest point in two weeks. it closed at 19,634. many investors are taking a wait and see stance before the japanese corporate earnings season gets in full swing. moving out of china trading was volatile on the shanghai. it dropped 1.64% to close at 4217. investorsing booked profit from the index's recent rally and seemed to have shrug off the latest stimulus measure unveiled by china's central bank. the bank cut its requirement for all commercial banks by one percentage points. hong kong stocks fell. it declined 2% ending at 27,094. that was the biggest drop in more than four months. in other markets around the
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asia-pacific asia-pacific region, the kospi rose by 1.5%. that extended its winning streak to seven session. singapore flourished into one of the most successful leaderships by attracting foreign investment and workers from abroad. people have started to complain that living costs are rising too fast. they also say infrastructure hasn't kept up. the roads and trains are getting too crowded. government officials have been trying to get a handle on the situation. they've started limiting the number of foreign workers. it's part of an effort to shift the driver of the economy to productivity and skilled labor. we have a report on how people are adjusting.
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>> reporter: the managers at a singapore airport found a way to cut down on labor costs. they found an you a mated way to cook rice and noodles. they are able to cut two staff a day. managers of another restaurant are trying something even more unusual. they are sending food and drink by drone. the gadget is programmed to fly to a particular table. the managers are jus testing it now. they are hoping to launch it officially in june. business owners across singapore are thinking creatively to try to raise productivity and lower their staffing needs. they say in recent years they've been struggling to hire the workers they need. that's because the government began tightening restrictions on
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foreign labor especially unskilled workers. the inflow workers from abroad slowed dramatically and that's caused headaches for some managers. lunch time means long tynes for this salad bar. the owners rely on foreign labor and that's harder to come by these days. they tried to plug the gap with local part timers including housewives and retireees but what head of recruitment said it's still tough. >> there were a lot of competitors in the industry and they were giving different kind of allowances benefits so people here had a lot of choice to select the kind of company they wanted. >> reporter: government officials are listening. their budget for this year includes small companies struggling with a tight labor market and they may hold off on plans to tighten foreign workers
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visa. the government believes boosting productivity will address the labor shortage. setting a target of 2% to 3% increase over the next four years. singapore's electric power is turning to technology. maintenance workers swap bundles of papers for tablet computers and had a dramatic effect on their efficiency. now managers want to introduce smart glasses, the workers will be able to communicate directly with experts in the office and receive instructions while they work. the managers say the hands-free gadget should make workers even more efficient. >> we will work on how this technology can be gainfully
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deployed so we see in a four months trial and if that's bringing a lot of benefits. >> reporter: the construction industry has been hit particularly hard by the restrictions on foreign workers. earlier this month a team of official from the building and construction authority studied the latest construction technology. part of the government plan to make the industry more efficient. leaders have earmarked $330 million over the next three years for the effort. the team wanted to see how japanese companies build steel frame sky scrapers and bring the techniques back home. >> we believe this me showed of construction will lead to higher productivity. something that we're working very hard to get. so that they can raise productivity level.
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>> reporter: the government is trying to figure out how to cap the number of foreign workers without limiting development. in the meantime singapore's business owners know they have to innovate to stay competitive in such a tight labor market. >> that's it for business news. i'll leave you with the markets.
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and professional players take on computer challengers in the japanese chess game known as shogi. it was a close call between the humans and automated opponents. >> reporter: five top ranked professional players took on an equal number of strongest computer shogi software systems. the games were streamed live so fans everywhere could follow them. this computer calculates the strategy and that high-tech robot actually moves the pieces. it's based on a medical robot. the hand was remodeled to hold a shogi piece, and turn it over. based on vast database, the computers choose their moves. for the human opponents, it's like coming up against a dream team. the pro player, who lost to a computer in a hard fought match last year, says human error can be the achilles heel in the
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battle against computers. >> translator: i can't find a worse opponent than a computer. that's because only humans feel pressure. we become worried, suffer, and get tired. >> reporter: this final match akutsu and the computer will decide the championship. players and computer software were tied, 2-2. akutsu's opponent suffered two loss in preliminary test matches against computers. he has got the right skills, but he recognizes the need to toughen up mentally. >> translator: i was almost numb when my turn came but if i allowed myself to think that way, the pressure might get to
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me. i need to feel relaxed, do my best. >> reporter: it didn't take long. >> i resigned. >> reporter: the final match lasted only 49 minutes and 21 moves. he employed an unconventional strategy that trapped the machine. fans watching on line erupted in surprise. akutsu had made a space within his own position deliberately and let the opponent gain what appeared to be a favorable position. about ten moves later the promoted piece would be unable to escape. a human player can easily recognize the trap. but the computer was unable to forecast danger that far ahead. kose conceded defeat showing disappointment that a top class pro had resorted to such tactics. >> translator: a professional player shouldn't just be thinking about winning.
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he has a responsibility to make the match interesting. >> reporter: at the post-tournament news conference, questions centered on the anti-computer strategy. >> translator: it may sound like a dirty trick, but i used a method to maneuver the opponent into making a bad move. i chose the way because i had to try my best to win. >> reporter: he says the relationship between professional players and computers will change from being opponents to being partners. >> translator: akutsu must have so much inner conflict to use such strategy partnership -- pinpointing the computer's expect. but for the future i think it's foreign for professional players to make effective use of computers rather than to fight against them. >> reporter: some professional players are now using the software to discover new
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strategies. human machine cooperation has just started. but it's said a possible synergy will make shogi professionals much stronger. thanks for that report. i hope they don't come up with computer anchors. we're having a wet monday here in tokyo. the current temperature read cigarette 19 degrees celsius or about 66 degrees fahrenheit. starting to feel a little muggy too. here's the weather update. >> spring storm is affecting many parts of japan especially the pacific coast and okinawa and heavy rain fell in 24 hours. we have a very intense low pressure system and active cold front that is providing quite a
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lot of heavy rainfall and strong winds. i want to take you to this. you can see trees swaying in the winds over 100 kilometers. wind gusts were reported in the prefecture along with 90 minneapolis of rain in 24 hours alerts for heavy rains, strong winds and thunderstorms and high rains have been posted in the prefecture. i want to show you this forecast into tuesday morning. additional of 250 millimeters of rain could fall in the next several hours in shizuoka prefecture peaking tonight and 250 millimeters for northern japan quite a lot for this region. flooding and mudslides is a very high-risk for many parts of japan. good news it's not a slow moving system. rainfall should wind down wind the next couple of days or even by tuesday. tokyo will be rainy in the morning hours but drier conditions after noon and osaka
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the sun may come out. notice temperatures quite warm and sunny and beautiful weather will come back on wednesday across many parts of japan. so let's look forward to that. severe thunderstorms happening over the southeastern corner of china. and quite high temperatures can be found over the indochina peninsula. 37 degrees in bangkok with high humidity and heat is taking place in many parts of india over 40 degrees in some places. so stay away from the direct sunshine. now further down towards the southern hemisphere severe weather is posted for new south wales. reports of lots of heavy rain and strong winds for the sidney area. more wet weather expected into tuesday. rainy weather with gusty conditions and much more than average temperatures for you drier weather will come back by wednesday and higher temperatures after work. across the americas heavy rain and severe weather have been affecting many parts of the southern u.s. over the past
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several days and in fact on sunday two tornadoes have been reported in georgia and alabama. i want to take to you alabama to show you the damage done by strong winds. strong storms and a tornado rode through the south on sunday damaging homes and toppling trees. the tornado was spotted on sunday morning in alabama where several vehicles were overturned. high winds blew a tree on the a house in a small town. the family sustained minor injuries. now the threat of severe weather and heavy rain will be from the south and also into the new england coast on tuesday or on monday, i should say so severe weather can be expected for many parts of the eastern u.s. now temperatures are much higher than normal for the southeast coast. 26 degrees for the high in washington, d.c. and in boston quite chilly for this time of year where the boston marathon is take place on monday. showers expected in the noon hours. that's it for now.
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here's your extended forecast. japanese department stores
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are known for exceptional customer service. one in tokyo is taking things up a notch with the debut of iko, the robot greeter. iko wear as kimono and works alongside a human employee at a ground floor information desk. it even bows to customers. toshiba built the life like machine. iko can move 43 pars of its upper body as it speaks. its surface is covered with silicon that looks like human skin. >> translator: a clerk told me it's a robot. that surprised me. >> toshiba officials say they are working on similar robots for banks and tourist information centers. that will always need that human element won't we. i'm james tengan in tokyo. thanks for watching "newsline".
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sized as it made its way to your. new questions -- to europe. new questions on how europe should react. the italian prime minister has called for major emergency talks by the end of the week. we will have more from our brussels correspondent in just a moment's time. and the chinese president is in pakistan to unveil a $45 million investment plan that the country hopes will end the energy crisis and transform it into a regional economic hub.

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